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Sunday, 24 March 2013

THE CROODS: AN ANIMATED FILM FOR THESE HOLIDAYS


Here's a film for the Easter holidays. It has just been premiered for the holiday season.

The Croods is a 2013 American 3D computer-animated adventure comedy film produced by DreamWorks Animation. The film is set in the prehistoric era, when a man's position as a "Leader of the Hunt" is threatened by the arrival of a prehistoric genius who comes up with revolutionary new inventions like fire.

Here's the film's trailer in English with subtitles as a sneek preview.

Video trailer "THE CROODS":

Saturday, 23 March 2013

EARTH HOUR 2013




If you love the planet we live on, support the WWF campaign: 
"EARTH HOUR 2013" 
SWITCH OFF ALL OF YOUR LIGHTS FOR AN HOUR TODAY FROM 8:30 TILL 9:30.

More info @ earthhour.org.

Promo video:


UPDATE: THE HERCULES TOWER [23/March/2013 @ 20:30-21:30]
(Photo: Gustavo Rivas, La Voz de Galicia)

Friday, 22 March 2013

HAPPY EASTER, HAVE A NICE HOLIDAY!


HAPPY EASTER HOLIDAYS
FROM 23rd MARCH TILL 1st APRIL

Thursday, 21 March 2013

LIVING A CORUÑA, LOVING A CORUÑA



Here's a video by Bridget Sheehan, who after working for 4 years in the greatest city in the world, New York, she decided to pack up everything and live in Spain for 8 months. She joined a program through the Spanish government where she is teaching English as a language assistant to high school students. 

Video "DESTINATION CORUÑA", Bridget Sheehan:


Wednesday, 20 March 2013

INTERNATIONAL DAY OF HAPPINESS & THE BEGINNING OF SPRING


In 2012, the United Nations (UN) declared March 20 to be observed as the International Day of Happiness.


Aim

The day recognizes that happiness is a fundamental human goal, and calls upon countries to approach public policies in ways that improve the well being of all peoples.
By designating a special day for happiness, the UN aims to focus world attention on the idea that economic growth must be inclusive, equitable, and balanced, such that it promotes sustainable development, and alleviates poverty. Additionally the UN acknowledges that in order to attain global happiness, economic development must be accompanied by social and environmental well being.

Background

The initiative to declare a day of happiness came from Bhutan – a country whose citizens are considered to be some of the happiest people in the world. The Himalayan Kingdom has championed an alternative measure of national and societal prosperity, called the Gross National Happiness Index (GNH). The GNH rejects the sole use of economic and material wealth as an indicator of development, and instead adopts a more holistic outlook, where spiritual well being of citizens and communities is given as much importance as their material well being.

Did you know?

The March Equinox, also known as the Spring Equinox, often falls on March 20th as well, Spring starts today so that may bring us happiness.
MORE ON BEING HAPPY @ BEHAPPYDAY.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!



Father's Day is a celebration honoring fathers and celebrating fatherhood, paternal bonds, and the influence of fathers in society. Many countries celebrate it on the third Sunday of June, but it is also celebrated widely on other days, like here in Spain where it's today March, 19th.

Audio+lyrics "COUNT ON ME", Bruno Mars:

Monday, 18 March 2013

"WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD (DON'T KNOW MUCH ABOUT...)", SAM COOKE. [Song from the film "WITNESS"]


We've watched the film "WITNESS", now we're going to work on the music from the film. A classic old soul song from 1960, originally by Sam Cooke, on the film a cover by Greg Chapman to which John and Rebecca dance to in the barn...

 Video "WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD" scene from "WITNESS":




Samuel Cook (January 22, 1931 – December 11, 1964), better known under the stage name Sam Cooke, was an American gospel, R&Bsoul, and pop singer, songwriter, and entrepreneur. He is considered to be one of the pioneers and founders of soul music. He is commonly known as the King of Soul for his distinctive vocal abilities and influence on the modern world of music. Cooke had 30 U.S. top 40 hits between 1957 and 1964, and a further three after his death. 
"Wonderful World" (sometimes referred to as "(What a) Wonderful World") is a soul song that was written in the late 1950s by soul music pioneer Sam Cooke, along with songwriters Lou Adler and Herb Alpert The song was released as a single in the spring of 1960, reaching #12 in the US and #27 in the UK. A bouncy love song, the lyrics have the singer showing his lack of knowledge of academic subjects (the song is often referred to informally by its first line, "Don't know much about history"), but affirming the object of his affection "but I do know that I love you". After a Greg Chapman cover of the song was featured prominently in the 1985 film Witness, "Wonderful World" gained further exposure.

Listening exercise-practice: Complete the lyrics to the song with the help of this chart:


Now check with the audio lyrics on screen video below:
Audio "WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD", Sam Cooke (+lyrics on screen):


Sunday, 17 March 2013

HAPPY SAINT PATRICK'S DAY 2013, IRELAND!

Torre de Hercules became green on 17th March 2013, too.




Everything's GREEN on Saint Patrick's Day, the Patron Saint of Ireland. This year even Coruña's Hercules Tower turned green (see photos above).
St. Patrick's Day is celebrated on March 17, the saint's religious feast day and the anniversary of his death in the fifth century. The Irish have observed this day as a religious holiday for over 1,000 years. 
On St. Patrick's Day, which falls during the Christian season of Lent, Irish families would traditionally attend church in the morning and celebrate in the afternoon. Lenten prohibitions against the consumption of meat were waived and people would dance, drink and feast--on the traditional meal of Irish bacon and cabbage.
St. Patrick's Day is a holiday known for parades, shamrocks and all things Irish. From leprechauns to the color green, find out how symbols we now associate with St. Patrick's Day came to be, and learn about a few that are purely American invention.


The Shamrock

The shamrock, which was also called the "seamroy" by the Celts, was a sacred plant in ancient Ireland because it symbolized the rebirth of spring. By the seventeenth century, the shamrock had become a symbol of emerging Irish nationalism. As the English began to seize Irish land and make laws against the use of the Irish language and the practice of Catholicism, many Irish began to wear the shamrock as a symbol of their pride in their heritage and their displeasure with English rule.

Irish Music


Music is often associated with St. Patrick's Day—and Irish culture in general. From ancient days of the Celts, music has always been an important part of Irish life. The Celts had an oral culture, where religion, legend and history were passed from one generation to the next by way of stories and songs. Today, traditional Irish bands like The Chieftains, the Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem are gaining worldwide popularity. Their music is produced with instruments that have been used for centuries, including the fiddle, the uilleann pipes (a sort of elaborate bagpipe), the tin whistle (a sort of flute that is actually made of nickel-silver, brass or aluminum) and the bodhran (an ancient type of framedrum that was traditionally used in warfare rather than music).

The Leprechaun


The original Irish name for these figures of folklore is "lobaircin," meaning "small-bodied fellow."Belief in leprechauns probably stems from Celtic belief in fairies, tiny men and women who could use their magical powers to serve good or evil. In Celtic folktales, leprechauns were cranky souls, responsible for mending the shoes of the other fairies. Though only minor figures in Celtic folklore, leprechauns were known for their trickery, which they often used to protect their much-fabled treasure. Leprechauns had nothing to do with St. Patrick or the celebration of St. Patrick's Day, a Catholic holy day. In 1959, Walt Disney released a film called Darby O'Gill, the Little People, which introduced America to a very different sort of leprechaun than the cantankerous little man of Irish folklore. This cheerful, friendly leprechaun is a purely American invention, but has quickly evolved into an easily recognizable symbol of both St. Patrick's Day and Ireland in general.

St. Patrick's Day Parade




  • The first St. Patrick's Day parade took place in the United States on March 17, 1762, when Irish soldiers serving in the English military marched through New York City.
  • More than 100 St. Patrick's Day parades are held across the United States. New York City and Boston are home to the largest celebrations.
  • At the annual New York City St. Patrick's Day parade, participants march up 5th Avenue from 44th Street to 86th Street. Each year, between 150,000 and 250,000 marchers take part in the parade, which does not allow automobiles or floats.


  • Video "10 FACTS ABOUT St. PATRICK'S DAY":

    Video traditional Irish music:

    Friday, 15 March 2013

    GALICIAN HERITAGE: THE QUIZ


    Once you've read the descriptions of the selected Galician heritage sites on a previous post in this blog, see here. You can have a try with this quiz to check if you've learnt things. 

    QUESTIONS ABOUT GALICIAN HERITAGE

    1- Complete the chart with the correct monument name:
    Year
    Monument
    Award
    1980

    Nature Reserve
    1985

    World Heritage
    1987

    European Cultural Route
    1993

    World Heritage
    1993

    UNESCO Biosphere Reserve
    1997

    Natural Park
    2000

    World Heritage
    2002

    Natural Park
    2007

    Best beach in the world, “The Guardian”
    2009

    World Heritage
    2- What's special about the Tower of Hercules?

    3- What was the Lugo Roman Wall built for?

    4- Why has Santiago de Compostela become one of the most important pilgrimage sites in Europe?

    5- How many different alternatives has the St James' Way got?

    6- When is Holy Year?

    7- Where is the Caaveiro Monastery? When was it founded?

    8- What is said about going to St Andrew of Teixido dead or alive?

    9- How many ruins of houses are kept at the Baroña Castro?

    10- Which sea washes the Cathedrals Beach?

    11- On what border is the Serra do Xurés natural park?

    12- At the mouth of which “ria” are the Cies Islands?

    13- What's a “palloza”?

    14- How long is the Carnota horreo?

    Wednesday, 13 March 2013

    INTRODUCING FRIENDS

    Click on the photo and you'll link to a video where you can practice how to introduce new people to your friends. Enjoy!

    And here's another video of how people are introduced in English, taken from different scenes of different TV series (Brothers & Sisters, Grey's Anatomy, Big Bang Theory, Two and a half men, Desperate Wives...)

    Video "INTRODUCING NEW PEOPLE":



    And at last, another video where you can see how to introduce yourself.

    Video "INTRODUCING YOURSELF":

    Monday, 11 March 2013

    THE AMISH

    [Text & images from New Generation. Student's Book 3ºBUP. Heinemann]
                                happened during the day.

    After having heard Paul on a presentation about the Amish and also reading the information here, we'll be watching the film "WITNESS" which is set in an Amish community.
    Video trailer of the film "WITNESS":

    Sunday, 10 March 2013

    GALICIAN HERITAGE

    As we receive the German students from the Wilsttater Gymnasium in Nuremberg once again, we have prepared an exhibition of our most important monumental and natural heritage, so that they can see how beautiful our country is. This exhibition is the preview of this year's cultural week. Here in the blog we show the photos, too.

    TOWER OF HERCULES. (Roman Lighthouse)


    The TORRE DE HÉRCULES (the Hercules Tower) is a Roman tower and lighthouse located in the peninsula of the city of A CORUÑA. It has the priviledge of being the only lighthouse of Roman origin still in use in the world.
    It's a World Heritage site since 2009.

    LUGO ROMAN WALLS. ( Roman Fortification)

    The Muralla Romana de Lugo (the Roman Walls of Lugo) is a fortification from the Roman Empire time located around the city of Lugo (Lucus Augusti) and it's one of the finest examples which is still preserved in the world.
    The wall's eliptical perimeter of about 2 kilometres long and a height between 8 and 12 metres, was one of the largest fortifications of its time. There's a walkway over the wall. It was built to defend the city, an important business and communication centre in the North of the penisnula, from local tribesmen and Germanic invaders.
    It's World Heritage since the year 2000.

    SAINT JAMES OF COMPOSTELA CATHEDRAL.

    The CATEDRAL DE SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA (Santiago de Compostela Cathedral) is a Catholic temple located in the city of Santiago de Compostela (A Coruña). It's the Apostle's Saint James' burialplace, what made it become one of the most important pilgrimage sites in Europe since the Middle Ages on to present days.
    It's a World Heritage site since 1985.

    ST. JAMES' WAY. (Pilgrimage Routes)

    O CAMIÑO DE SANTIAGO (Saint James' Way) is the group of access routes for pilgrims to Santiago de Compostela, since the discovery of the remains of the Apostle Saint James. The Way has different alternatives of varied use depending on the times. Its great heyday was in the Middle Ages.
    The French Way entering from France through Roncesvalles, following the plateau up to the entrance to Galicia by O Cebreiro. The Aragonian Way entering from France through Somport. The North Way along the Cantabric coastline entering Galicia by Ribadeo. The Portuguese Way from Portugal in the South. The Silver Way for those who come from the South of the peninsula. The English Way from Ferrol and Coruña, where the ships from the British Isles arrived. And the Fisterra-Muxía Way from the pilgrims who continued from Santiago to land's end.
    Whenever Saint James' day (25th July) falls on Sunday it's Holy Year.
    It's World Heritage since 1993 and the first European Cultural Route by the European Council since 1987.

    CAAVEIRO MONASTERY &
    AS FRAGAS DO EUME. (Natural Park)

    The Fragas do Eume (the Eume Forest) is located in the province of A Coruña alongside the banks of the river Eume which stretches through the municipalities of As Pontes, A Capela, Monfero, Cabanas and Pontedeume. Fraga is the Galician word for natural woodland and it's the best example of the Atlantic temperate rainforest in Europe and Natural Park since 1997.
    Within the limits of this park is the Monastery of Saint John of Caaveiro, founded in the 10th century.

    SAINT ANDREW OF TEIXIDO SANCTUARY.

    The sanctuary of San Andrés de Teixido (Saint Andrew of Teixido) is located on the cliffs of the Capelada Serra by the ocean in the municipality of Cedeira (A Coruña).
    It's a pilgrimage site since the Iron Age, during the Castro culture. It's popularly said that “vai de morto quen non foi de vivo” (“who didn't go alive, goes when dead”).

    BAROÑA CASTRO. (Archeological Site)

    The Baroña Castro is located in the parish of Baroña, municipality of Porto do Son (A Coruña).
    The archeological settlement, placed on a peninsula, was inhabited between the I century before Christ to the I century after Christ. It consists of 20 circular or oval stone houses within a double defensive wall. It's an example of Galician Castro culture.

    THE BEACH OF THE CATHEDRALS (RIBADEO).

    The Praia de Augas Santas (Beach of the Holy Waters), touristically known as a Praia das Catedrais (the Cathedrals Beach) is located in the parish of Devesa in the municipality of Ribadeo (Lugo).
    It's 1500mts long on the Cantabric coast. Its name comes from the formation of its cliffs, caves and natural arches.

    SERRA DO XURÉS (Natural Park)

    The Serra do Xures Natural Park extends over six Galician and five Portuguese councils. Situated in the South of the province of Ourense on the Portuguese border. It's a granite mountain area and within its limits there are the lowest elevation glacier cirques in the Iberian peninsula. 1993 UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

    THE CIES ISLANDS. (Natural Park)

    The Cíes Islands are an archipelago off the coast of Pontevedra in Galicia (Spain), in the mouth of the Ría de Vigo. They were declared a Nature Reserve in 1980 and are included in the Atlantic Islands of Galicia National Park (Parque Nacional Marítimo-Terrestre das Illas Atlánticas de Galicia) created in 2002.
    In February 2007 the British newspaper The Guardian chose the beach of Rodas, Spain on the island of Monteagudo, as "the best beach in the world."

    O PIORNEDO. (Traditional mountain cottages)

    Piornedo is a small village in the Ancares mountains in Spain. It is part of the municipality of Cervantes, in the area of Os Ancares, in the province of Lugo, Galicia. The village is located at a height of approximately 1,300 metres.
    Piornedo is famous for its museum, a preserved palloza or traditional house, that shows how people lived in this remote region until comparatively recently.

    CARNOTA HORREO. (Typical Galician granary)

    Ahórreo is a typical granary from the northwest of the Iberian Peninsula (mainly Galicia and Asturias), built in wood or stone, raised from the ground by pillars (esteos in Galician) ending in flat staddle stones (vira-ratos in Galician) to avoid the access of rodents. Ventilation is allowed by the slits in its walls. The longest hórreo in Galicia is located in CarnotaA Coruña and is 35 m long.

    Friday, 8 March 2013

    INTERNATIONAL WOMAN'S DAY 2013: "A PROMISE IS A PROMISE: TIME FOR ACTION TO END VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN"


    Women's Day (IWD), originally called International Working Women's Day, is marked on March 8 every year. In different regions the focus of the celebrations ranges from general celebration of respect, appreciation and love towards women to a celebration for women's economic, political and social achievements.
     International Women's Day was first observed as a popular event after 1977 when the United Nations General Assembly invited member states to proclaim March 8 as the UN Day for women's rights and world peace.
    The UN theme for International Women's Day 2013 is "A promise is a promise: Time for action to end violence against women," while International Women's Day 2013 has declared the year's theme as The Gender Agenda: Gaining Momentum.


    Friday, 1 March 2013

    TRENDY NAMES



    Here's an infographic about how the fashion in boys and girls' names has changed in England  and Wales from one generation to the next. It's the top 15 popular names: in red the names in fashion in 1944, in yellow the ones in 1974 and in blue the ones in 2004. Only James has been in fashion all this time... while no girls' name has been popular constantly all this time. Below the top 10 popular names in Spain in 2012:


    1LucíaDaniel
    2PaulaAlejandro
    3MaríaPablo
    4DanielaHugo
    5SaraÁlvaro
    6CarlaAdrián
    7ClaudiaDavid
    8SofíaJavier
    9AlbaDiego
    10IreneMario

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